Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Down and Dirty

Getting Down and Dirty


Probably not what you think. 


Here in southwestern Ohio we’ve had a most unusual spring season. It will be sunny and warm one day and cloudy and rainy the next. We’ve had several days in a row of what I call “short sleeve” weather followed by a blast of cold complete with a smattering of snow or frost. 

The man who mows my lawn has to sandwich the trimmings between continually shifting wet and dry weather patterns.  It’s crazy.


I’m a warm weather kind of girl, so I wake up to sunshine smiling and singing. I set about weeding the flowerbeds and browsing the plants at my local Lowes store. I spray the honeysuckle… a never-ending battle…and trim the bushes.


Then it turns cold or rainy (or both) again and I’m stuck inside staring at the calendar. 

I shouldn’t be surprised. Rarely in the past have I planted a garden before the first of May.  I do, however, usually have the ground ready and seedlings growing and waiting inside the house to be transplanted. Not this year. But I keep trying.


I’ve always loved playing in the dirt. When my best friend, Nicky, and I were young we attempted to dig a hole to China. Nick’s brother told us we could do it so we tried. 


On the farm, I played with toy trucks and tractors, making roads to travel and fields to cultivate in the dirt beside the driveway. I sifted through dirt by the creek, certain I would one day find gold.


Dirt is good stuff. It’s the kind of stuff fully equipped to grow vegetables or dreams. Take your pick.


This past weekend, my middle daughter and two of her kiddos came for a visit. The weather was beautiful. We headed outside so the children could play. My mom, daughter, and I surveyed the flowerbeds and fencerow. My youngest grandson tagged along.


As we talked we pulled a weed or two. I showed Danielle some rotting logs in the back I hoped to reposition. “Once these are cleared,” I said as a kicked one of the logs, “I’ll be able to plant a garden here.”


The log was soft. The ever-changing weather had managed to further the decay of the logs and stumps in my path. I retrieved a shovel from the shed and started chipping away at the rotting wood.


Soon, my daughter and mother were caught up in the “mostly-fun but actually, work” mode of whittling down the remaining woodpile.


“What rich soil,” my mother said. “This will make a wonderful garden!”


As we worked, my youngest grandson hopped into the thick of it all. He dug in the dirt with his hands, unearthing worms and centipedes and what he described as “the biggest beetle ever.”


Soon…when the rain stops…I’ll be planting my garden. I’ll likely plant tomatoes and peppers. I may plant potatoes and onions. I like beans and cucumbers. I don’t know for sure what all I’ll plant, but as I watched Nathanael play in the dirt, I was reminded of this simple truth: 


Every Living Thing Needs Dirt, Water, and Sunshine to Grow...

So Do Dreams



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